Recent blog posts
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.10.23 with John Carlo, Lerone, and David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Pledge helpers needed on Friday Texas Blues Radio
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.10.16 with Christian Guevara, Lerone, Patti and David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89 3, Lambda Weekly 2016.10.09 with Rev Eric Folkerth, Patti and David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89 3, Lambda Weekly 2016.10.02 with Erin Moore, Patti and David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues radio poll 10/1/16
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.09.25 Rebecca Covell with Patti and David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly, 2016.09.18 with Stephen Soden & Logen Cure , Lerone and David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.09.11 with Rabbi Steve Fisch , Lerone and David Taffet
- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues radio poll report, September 1, 2016
"Treat Them Like the Heroes They Are": Fmr. Black Panthers Call for Release of Those Still Locked Up
Some members of the Black Panther Party have been behind bars for more than four decades and are now suffering from poor health. In some cases, court documents show they were punished essentially for being in the black liberation struggle. Many continue to face parole board denials based on their relationship with the party. We discuss their cases with Sekou Odinga, a former Black Panther who was a political prisoner for 33 years and was released in November 2014; and with Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3, who recently met Judge James Brady of the Middle District of Louisiana, who issued an order saying that he should be immediately released and barred from being retried for the killing of Angola prison guard Brent Miller. Judge Brady later said, "I did what a judge is supposed to do."
As part of our historic roundtable with former political prisoners who were in the Black Panther Party, we speak with Eddie Conway, who was released from prison in 2014 after serving 44 years for a murder he denies committing. He was convicted in the killing of Baltimore police officer Donald Sager but has maintained his innocence, saying that he was set up as part of the FBI’s COINTELPRO.
We spend the hour focusing on the Black Panther Party’s legacy of political prisoners in the United States. Perhaps the most famous is Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has regularly been interviewed on Democracy Now! as an award-winning journalist. But there are many others. In fact, two former Black Panthers have already died in prison this year: Abdul Majid in New York and Mondo we Langa in Nebraska. Joining us for our historic roundtable discussion is Sekou Odinga, who helped build the Black Panther Party in New York City and was later involved in the Black Liberation Army. He was convicted in 1984 of charges related to his alleged involvement in the escape of Assata Shakur from prison and a Brink’s armored car robbery. After serving 33 years in state and federal prison, he was released in November 2014.
Fifty years after the founding of the Black Panther Party, we focus on an overlooked part of its history: political prisoners. Many former members are still held in prison based on tortured confessions, while others were convicted based on questionable evidence or the testimony of government informants. We host an historic roundtable with four former Black Panthers who served decades in prison, beginning with two former members of the Angola Three who formed one of the first Black Panther chapters in a prison. Robert King spent 32 years in Angola—29 of them in solitary confinement. He was released in 2001 after his conviction was overturned. Albert Woodfox, until February of this year, was the longest-standing solitary confinement prisoner in the United States. He was held in isolation in a six-by-nine-foot cell almost continuously for 43 years at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola prison. He was released on his 69th birthday.
- NATO Seeks to Place More Troops on Russia's Border
- Trump: Clinton Could Start World War III in Syria
- Amnesty: U.S. Airstrikes in Syria Have Killed 300 Civilians
- Trump Closely Tied to Energy Transfer Partners, Operators of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline
- "We Need to Clean This Up": WikiLeaks Shows How Clinton Aides Handled Email Server Scandal
- U.S.-Backed Offensive to Retake Syrian City of Raqqa Set to Begin
- Solidarity is the Only Solution: Pope Francis Appeals to World to Welcome Refugees
- Tents & Shelters Set Ablaze in Calais Refugee Camp in France
- Judge OKs $14.7 Billion Volkswagen Settlement over Emissions Scandal
- Obamacare Price Hikes Lead to Calls for Repeal & Single-Payer
- Project Hemisphere: AT&T's Secret Program to Spy on Americans for Profit
- Opposition Venezuelan Lawmakers Vote to Put Maduro on Trial
- Climate Activists Protest Construction of Third Runway at London's Heathrow Airport
- Newt Gingrich to Fox News's Megyn Kelly: "You are Fascinated with Sex"
We continue our conversation with the 94-year-old legendary TV producer Norman Lear, the focus of the new "American Masters" documentary, "Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You." We spoke to him in studio last week about how his work landed him on Richard Nixon’s enemies list, the Black Panthers and what gives him hope.
Ninety-four-year-old legendary TV producer and longtime political activist Norman Lear has led a remarkable life. He helped revolutionize sitcom television with a string of hit shows including "All in the Family," "Sanford and Son," "The Jeffersons," "Good Times" and "Maude." In 1999, President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Arts, saying, "Norman Lear has held up a mirror to American society and changed the way we look at it." Norman Lear is also a longtime activist, earning him a place on Richard Nixon’s enemies list and the scorn of the Christian right. His life, art and social activism is the subject of the new "American Masters" documentary, "Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You," which premieres tonight on PBS. We spoke with Norman Lear in studio last week.
Legendary civil rights and antiwar activist Tom Hayden died Sunday in Santa Monica, California, after a lengthy illness. He was 76 years old. Hayden spent decades shaping movements against war and for social justice. In the early 1960s, he was the principal author of the Port Huron Statement, the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS. The statement advocated for participatory democracy and helped launch the student movement of the 1960s. In 1968, Tom Hayden became one of the so-called Chicago 8 and was convicted of crossing state lines to start a riot after he helped organize protests against the Vietnam War outside the Democratic National Convention. For more, we air a speech Tom Hayden gave last year at a conference in Washington, D.C., titled "Vietnam: The Power of Protest."
- New Threshold: 2015 Saw Average Carbon Dioxide Levels of 400 PPM
- Canada: 99 Detained at Protest Demanding End to Tar Sands Pipelines
- Iowa: Blockade Halted Dakota Access Drilling Under Mississippi River
- Pakistan: 59+ Police Cadets Killed in Attack on Training College
- France: Authorities Continue Demolishing Calais Refugee Camp
- Elizabeth Warren: "Nasty Women" Have Had It with Donald Trump
- Belgian Socialist Region Threatens to Block Major EU-Canada Trade Deal
- Colombia: 279-Mile Peace Walk Arrives in Bogotá
- Caravan Against Repression in Mexico Arrives in New York City
- Harvard U. & Dining Hall Workers Reach Tentative Deal After 20-Day Strike
Tom Hayden has died at the age of 76. Hayden spent decades shaping movements against war and for social justice. He was the principal author of the Port Huron Statement, the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS. The statement advocated for participatory democracy and helped launch the student movement of the 1960s. In 1968, Hayden became one of the so-called Chicago 8 and was convicted of crossing state lines to start a riot after he helped organize protests against the Vietnam War outside the Democratic National Convention. We play an excerpt of an address by Hayden speaking about the antiwar movement he helped lead.
Josh Fox: Arrest of Journalists and Filmmakers Covering the Dakota Pipeline is a Threat to Democracy
Award-winning filmmaker Josh Fox joins us to discuss the arrest of fellow filmmaker Deia Schlosberg, who is charged with three felonies for filming an act of civil disobedience in which climate activists manually turned off the safety valves to stop the flow of tar sands oil through pipelines spanning the U.S. and Canada. "These people are not accessories to the crime, they are the media," Fox says. "This is a constitutionally protected activity." Schlosberg was the producer of Fox’s recent documentary, "How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change."
Are North Dakota authorities waging a war against the public’s right to know about the ongoing Standing Rock pipeline protests? We are joined by documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg, who was charged earlier this month with three felonies for filming an act of civil disobedience in which climate activists manually turned off the safety valves to stop the flow of tar sands oil through pipelines spanning the U.S. and Canada. The actions took place in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Washington state. Schlosberg is an award-winning filmmaker and was the producer of Josh Fox’s recent documentary, "How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change." She was filming the action at a valve station owned by TransCanada in Walhalla, North Dakota. She was arrested along with the activists, and her footage was confiscated. Then she was charged with a Class A felony and two Class C felonies—which combined carry a 45-year maximum sentence.
At least 27 people, including Hollywood actress Shailene Woodley, were arrested during the Standoff at Standing Rock on October 10, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, while attempting to blockade the Dakota Access pipeline construction at two separate worksites. Footage of Woodley’s arrest was streamed live to roughly 40,000 viewers on her Facebook page. She was later strip-searched in jail. She says her dedication to protest with indigenous people who are at the forefront of the fight remains strong: "Every time we allow another pipeline … we are endorsing the fossil fuel industry and only prolonging the time it is going to take to switch to renewable energy." Woodley recently starred in the new Edward Snowden film, "Snowden." She has appeared in the TV series "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" and has also starred in films including "The Divergent Series" and "The Fault in Our Stars." She received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Alex King in "The Descendants."
On Sunday, hundreds of water protectors erected a new frontline camp of several structures and tipis directly on the proposed path of the Dakota Access pipeline. The new frontline camp is just to the east of North Dakota State Highway 1806, across from the site where on September 3, over Labor Day weekend, Dakota Access security guards unleashed pepper spray and dogs against Native Americans trying to protect a sacred tribal burial ground from destruction. The water protectors also erected three road blockades that stopped traffic for hours on Highway 1806 to the north and the south of the main resistance camp and along County Road 134. The group cited an 1851 treaty, which they say makes the entire area unceded sovereign land under the control of the Sioux. The blockades were dismantled late Sunday. We speak with Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth. She is Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation.
We go to North Dakota for an update on the ongoing Standoff at Standing Rock, where thousands of Native Americans representing more than 200 tribes from across the Americas are resisting the construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which is slated to carry oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfields through South Dakota, Iowa and into Illinois. On Saturday, over 100 people, who call themselves protectors, not protesters, were arrested at a peaceful march after they were confronted by police in riot gear, carrying assault rifles. They say police pepper-sprayed them and then arrested them en masse, and discharged rubber bullets to shoot down drones the water protectors were using to document the police activity. We are joined by Sacheen Seitcham, media activist with West Coast Women Warriors Media Cooperative who was arrested Saturday along with more than 80 other protesters and journalists at a construction site for the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota.
- North Dakota: Police Arrest Over 100 Water Protectors
- Pennsylvania: 55,000 Gallons of Gasoline Spill in Susquehanna River
- Iraq: Turkey Fires on Mosul as Pentagon Chief Pledges Air Support
- Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Torture Lawsuit Against CACI
- California National Guard Orders Veterans to Return Bonuses
- Syria: Three-Day Ceasefire Ends with No Humanitarian Gains
- French Police Begin Evacuation of "The Jungle" Refugee Camp in Calais
- AT&T Agrees to Purchase Time Warner in $85 Billion Deal
- Trump Claims Female Support as 11th Woman Claims Sexual Assault
- Poll: Half of Republicans Would Reject Hillary Clinton Election
- WikiLeaks: Clinton Charity Took Millions from Moroccan King in Exchange for Appearance
- Cyber-Attack Harnesses "Internet of Things" to Shut Down Websites
- Venezuela: President Maduro’s Opponents Push Ouster
- Washington State Police Shoot, Kill Pregnant Mother of Three
- National Anthem Protests Continue to Target Racial Injustice
- Tom Hayden, Civil Rights and Antiwar Leader, Dies at 76
On the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party, some are comparing the party to the Black Lives Matter movement. We get response from Shaun King, a Black Lives Matter activist and senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, who has recently spent time with the party’s co-founder, Bobby Seale. "If you look at where we are now versus where the Black Panther Party was at the same time, I think we’re doing well," King says. Still, he notes, "The Black Lives Matter movement is not a carbon copy of what the Black Panther Party did. How we do what we do will be uniquely different. Our time is different."
With the election just 18 days away and three presidential debates behind them, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are campaigning across the country. Clinton is scheduled to spend Sunday in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she will be joined by the Mothers of the Movement—women who lost their children to police-involved incidents and gun violence. We discuss the election with former Bernie Sanders supporter Shaun King, senior justice writer for the New York Daily News. "We learned a lot of tough lessons" from the Sanders campaign, King says. But, he adds, "I think [Clinton] has evolved, and we’ll have to see, if she is elected, what that evolution means in terms of policy and practices."
Shaun King on Colin Kaepernick: He is Enormously Courageous and Has Sparked a Movement Among Athletes
Shaun King, Black Lives Matter activist and the senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, discusses NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who continued his protest Sunday against racial oppression and police brutality by kneeling on one knee during the pre-game national anthem ahead of his first game of the year for the San Francisco 49ers. His actions have sparked similar protests across the country among professional, college and even high school and middle school athletes.
New Yorkers are protesting yet another fatal police shooting after 66-year-old African American Deborah Danner was killed by a New York Police Department sergeant Tuesday. Danner had mental health issues, including schizophrenia. Police say she was shot and killed in her own home in the Bronx, after a neighbor called 911. When police arrived, they found Danner naked in her bedroom holding a pair of scissors. Authorities say Sergeant Hugh Barry fatally shot her after she picked up a baseball bat. Mayor Bill de Blasio said her death "should never have happened." We get response from Shaun King, senior justice writer for the New York Daily News. "It wasn’t just a mistake," King says. "A woman who deserved treatment and compassion was shot and killed. We’re talking about a crime."